Kindness. How critical yet consistently undervalued in our world it is to be compassionate to ourselves and to one another. How often do we value success, power, entertainment and instant gratification? Although we search for things that cannot eternally satisfy us, time and time again we chase after them, only to be washed away like the tides of the sea.
English author Neil Gaiman has stated, “I hope you will have a wonderful year, that you’ll dream dangerously and outrageously, that you’ll make something that didn’t exist before you made it, that you will be loved and that you will be liked, and that you will have people to love and to like in return. And, most importantly (because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now), that you will, when you need to be, be wise, and that you will always be kind.”
I was determined to change everything about myself when I started modeling in 2006. I wanted to be somebody else because the person who I saw in the mirror made me wanted to kill myself, and with my destructive behaviors, I was on that road fast, although in serious denial. During my childhood years I was unaware that I was hurting myself with my eating disorder behaviors and overexercising. Once I was confronted from my dad about what I was doing, I was stubborn and engaged in them more because they served me in many ways. I felt that if I stopped binging, purging and overexercising, that my world would fall apart and that I would die. I believe at that point because I knew they were wrong and I did not stop, that they became addictive behaviors. By refusing to seek help early on, I hurt not only myself but many people in the process. Now because of therapy and recovery I understand that that thought process was a result of having sub-clinical obsessive compulsive disorder, depression and anxiety.
I was wrapped up in my career for the wrong reasons as well. In modeling, I was fixated on being the best in my profession at all costs, but that price meant hurting myself. Before every shoot, casting and fashion show, I binged and purged repeatedly over the anxiety that I felt knowing that I would be judged and scrutinized. I was always told in unkind ways to lose weight, and it just wore at my brain. I couldn’t take it. I was not kind to myself and the lack of self love cost me everything.
Life begins and ends with kindness. Our health is sustained only by our ability to nourish ourselves mentally, spiritually, emotionally and physically. Everything is in danger of falling apart if we cannot be kind to ourselves because then we cannot extend that love to the world.
I am grateful…
My recovery allows me to make positive decisions based on first being kind to myself, and second from extending that kindness to others.